15 Oct, 2020
4 min read
Dan Lorang is one of the most celebrated coaches in triathlon – but his work with Ironman world champion Anne Haug has been anything but an overnight success.
The pair met at university 15 years ago when studying together and started a partnership that would ultimately turn Haug into not only a pro but a triathlon superstar.
Haug recently returned to short course racing with an appearance at the SLT Arena Games in Rotterdam and took part in an in-depth interview discussing her life and career.
In part two she talks about working with Lorang (also coach of Jan Frodeno), her lack of self-confidence and life after triathlon:
Dan is the most important person in my career.I met him at university when we were students together and we actually met on a triathlon course and he saw me and said ‘oh my God, what are you doing? I will coach you a bit and see what we can do.’ Then history started.At the age of 22 or 23 he started coaching me and even through the phase where I switched to Darren Smith for two years it wasn’t because I was unhappy with his training. I was just on my own in Munich and I didn’t have any training partners and that was the reason I changed to Darren Smith but he was always with me at that time as well.He has been coaching me for 14 or 15 years and it’s really special for me and he knows me the best. He knows everything in my career, every injury and always knew how to improve me.I never stood on a startline where I felt I wasn’t prepared for it. He always manages it and all my confidence is with him.
You can’t make it nowadays because of the swim in short course. It is so strong you need to have a swim background to have a chance to compete at the highest level because if you don’t make the first pack on the bike you can run world records on the 10k and it wouldn’t change anything.In short course the bike courses were more challenging so I could ride into the pack when I was good.It’s a young sport and it’s always improving and the depth of really good athletes gets more and more.
The success doesn’t help because you always want to improve yourself and get better and it’s a thing you always question. If you are always super happy there is no reason to improve yourself.It’s always good to question yourself before every race and every day because there’s always room to get better and improve and that’s the reason I am always self-doubting and searching for ways to improve.If you start being happy with your performance then you’ve finished your career because you should always be improving. Being unhappy with your performance drives you to be better.
It’s all triathlon, but it’s my character. I think I am a very boring person. I love to eat, train and sleep and do nothing else.Doing high performance sport is such a short time in your career and you have to go 200% to make it proper.You never know when it’s over and I have had a lot of serious injuries in my career where doctors said my career was over but I always believed I could get back so the older I get the more special it is for me to compete and I want to use it and don’t want to waste any time because it may be over tomorrow so I appreciate it.
It always scares me. I have these doubts but I always try to listen to my inner voice.If my inner voice still says’ you can do it again’ and I can imagine racing at a high level again I will do everything possible.If I don’t have this voice inside me any more or not confident I can compete at the highest level it would be the end of my career, but I don’t have this feeling at the moment.I don’t have plans for the future either because I didn’t plan to be a professional athlete, it came to me. It was a door that opened to me and I just ran through it.I hope when I finish my career in triathlon another door will open and I will be as passionate about that as I am about triathlon.